What Was the First Tweet of Forbes Top 20 Women Social Media Influencers?

Twitter was launched in 2006, and no one ever guessed back then that how Twitter will change the world hashtag-by-hashtag. Before Twitter, the # key was little more than something found on Imagetelephones to denote “number”.

Whether you are new to Twitter or a seasoned pro, #FirstTweet got everyone going for sure. Just like Twitter users, Twitter has also evolved enormously in the last eight years. To celebrate this journey and success with its users, it has just released, a fun tool to help you discover your first tweet.

Twitter has concreted itself as a digital soapbox, and women seem to have taken it way too easily. Recently Forbes published The Top 20 Women Social Media Influencers which intrigued me about the first tweet of these influences so here you go:

  1. Ann Tran
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  2. Jessica NortheyImage
  3. Mari Smith
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  4. Liz Strauss
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  5. Pam Moore
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  6. Renee Blodgett 

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  7. Eve Mayer
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  8. Kim Garst
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  9. Lori Ruff
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  10. Ann Handley
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  11. Pam Dyer
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  12. Laura Fitton – Co-author of Twitter for DummiesImage
  13. Bonnie SainsburyImage
  14. Lilach BullockImage
  15. Deborah Lee
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  16. Marsha CollierImage
  17. Lori Taylor
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  18. Viveka von RosenImage
  19. Sandi KrakowskiImage
  20. Susan CooperImage

Hope it was fun for you, please share with your friends and followers. Feel free to leave comments, questions or suggestions. All feedback is welcomed.

Sources:

Forbes: The Top 20 Women Social Media Influencers 

 

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Top Tips for Brands Looking to Leverage the Twitter’s New Functionality

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So now when you are familiar with the new exciting features of Twitter, time to look at some effective ways of applying them. If you missed my previous post, click here What’s New to twitter?

Twitter will start rolling out the new change to Profile Pages to the users over the next few weeks. In the interim, it’s a good time for brands to start thinking about how they will leverage this new . Here are some tips to help get you started:

  1. Plan Your New Profile and Cover Images: There is no better time than now to begin designing and developing your new cover photo and profile image to meet the new Twitter requirements. Twitter recommends dimensions for the header photo of 1500px in width × 500px in height.
  2. Offer Specials with Pinned Tweets: You now have the chance to feature a specific tweet at the top of your profile page to let new visitors get a fuller sense of who you are and what your profile is entirely more or less. One thing for brands to consider is featuring a tweet that offers an exclusive piece of content to visitors. For example, feature a tweet that offers a case study, white paper, infographic or eBook to help get visitor engagement.
  3. Use the Mobile Features for Photo Sharing: Tagging multiple people and posting multiple photos is a great way for brands to better engage with their audience. Consider posting multiple photos that illustrate a story or message to your audience and tag individuals that you think would appreciate the message.
  4. Larger Profile Image: The larger profile image on the new version of Twitter gives users more real estate to set the tone of their page. Consider changing profile photos on an ongoing basis to help keep users coming back.
  5. Make your Photos Count: This new version of Twitter places a deep emphasis on photos and video. Publish photos that are eye catching and entertaining. This will help to increase engagement when visitors choose to filter your tweets using the photo/video filter.

Finally, brands can expect to see more changes from Twitter in the not-so-distant future. Just last week, Vivian Schiller, Twitter’s head of new partnerships shook the “twitterverse” by suggesting that hashtags and @replies are “arcane” and could possibly be a thing of the past. When asked to clarify the remarks, Twitter representatives had this to say: “By bringing the content of Twitter forward and pushing the scaffolding of the language of Twitter to the background, we can increase high-quality interactions and make it more likely that new or casual users will find this service as indispensable as our existing core users do. And we took initial steps in that direction with the introduction of media forward timelines and in-line social actions in October, and we’re already starting to see early signs that those initiatives are working well.”

What do you think about the new changes to twitter? Are you, or your brand, looking forward to them?

14 must-dos to improve your social impression in 2014

social_christmas_tree

Just like you I was totally tempted to surrender to the bubbly, mulled wine, cookies and cakes so I started with the yearly housekeeping and just then it occured to me that I am meant to do the yearly tidying to my social as well.

Well whilst you decorate your Christmas tree and warm up for the New Year cheer, this is a suitable time to do a little social media housekeeping. Here are top 14 stars to add glamour and sturdiness to your social cheer. Get them all done and you’ll enter the New Year with a stronger base.

  1. Verify your Google profile – Google+ made colossal progress this year. You can try some simple updates. If you haven’t already, customize your URL so your company page is legitimate and easier to find and share.
  2. Tarot card readings didn’t fetch you well this year? Try Twitter Cards? Well I find Twitter’s Lead Generation Cards very promising. They allow you to collect leads directly from tweets. Christmas is a great time to try new things, and these have no form for users to fill in – cherry on the top, isn’t it?
  3. Fine tune your content – Now is a good time to review all the content shared and plan ahead. Be creative. Experiment!
  4. Take a Google Analytics course – No business is complete without acumens. Insights is everything. Google analytics course will be a true investment of your time and money, well only the time as it’s free now.
  5. A lot can happen over LinkedIn –Sponsored Updates allow businesses to promote any post from their company page directly into a specific demographics’ news feed. Give it a go.
  6. Be the “Titleholder” – Had a good social 2013? Highlight your work with internal staging, newsletter and creative comms using Vine, videos, infographics. Celebrate your social triumph!
  7. “My father taught me many things … keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.” (Yes, I was watching “Godfather” last night. Yes, Again!)Take a few steps back and get the wider view of the marketplaces. Understand what worked well for your competitors and what didn’t. Learn and take notes to fin-tune your social strategy.
  8. Play with video – Now you can create and edit videos on the Instagram app as well as photos. And what’s more, these videos outdo the 6 second restriction of Vine, so it’s worth testing which platforms work best for you.
  9. Get on the right side of the law – The legal systems of any nation wasn’t  made with social in mind so they have had to adapt. Get better prepared for legislation in 2014. An appropriate time to refresh and brush the legal knowledge. Research time!
  10. Re-state your statement  – Once you’re aware of the legal risks, you’ll no doubt want to get your housekeeping in order. Re-draft your social policy; it should cover everything from changing passwords to protecting the company against liability caused by your workforce. Many free and reliable workbooks are available online.
  11. Sieve and revive – Get rid of the channels which are not suited for your business and re-focus your efforts on active platforms.
  12. Surf the net for inspiration – This is a great time to do a bit of research. Some casual surfing can land you with great ideas for the next twelve months. Start by checking out what competitors have been up to!
  13. Social also needs some “alone-time”  – While business is not that chaotic and busy, reflect upon the risks and vulnerabilities in social. What worked for you and where could you improve? How will you go about making change? Who else in your company could you tempt with cake to get some guidance?
  14. Before you get Christmassy – Before you pour that drink to your success, plan the social media content and dispenser during the holidays. There should be Christmas in the virtual world as well. Isn’t it?

Wish you all a very merry Christmas and a happier 2014!

Nurturing vs. Building Community In Social

Community is the holy grail of Social media. Without community, there is no social. Mind you, if your focus is not right then you may just miss the bull’s eye by a thin line or shall I say a thin curve (Ah! I have been working out so I can mention ‘thin’ and ‘curves’ now)

Well if you’re thinking building a community is nothing but just a number game then yes, you are not wrong. Please note, I am saying “your aren’t wrong”. Members can be bought. Yes, they can be bought. Paid media, contests, promotions, etc. There are many ways. Principally, you can only buy the “Building” for your community. And, these numbers may or may not be necessary. Sometimes enormous followers can get you credibility. Sometimes it creates a base for future nurturing however I personally believe that there’s always a start and start is always with ‘1’ or shall we say ‘0’. I would say start with a clear purpose and members or followers for your community will come automatically. Do not worry much about the number game when you make a start. So now if you’re thinking that building a community is about quality numbers, you’re right. Please note, now I am saying “You’re right”.

Well you will find all social media practitioners saying this a lot, do something with your community because until you will do something worthwhile with your “big strength” they are nothing but just the false weights and you’re just spending a lot of energy to just ‘look’ good. The key is to ‘feel’ good and not just ‘look’ good. (Ah! It’s evident that girl is struggling to give in to some vino and Macaroons. Of course, it is. What on the earth ‘feel’ ‘look’ good jazz has to do with the Community Building!)

Believe you me, with this social media week coming up, I get to meet many CMOs / Digital Officers / Social Media Practitioners (more than I anticipated) who said to me: “I just want to have more followers for my company than my golf buddy’s company.” (Sadly, they weren’t joking).

Well let’s cut the humour now and submit some sense. (Did I just sense a grin here? Well! In my defence, my cocktail buddies laugh on my most one liners and a bit later, on all ) Yes, back to the topic now. I submit an idea: Nurture a community; don’t just build it. Nurturing a community means you encourage interactions, create engagements. Create an environment of communication (Let me say it for the last time, there is only one way to have communication i.e. ‘two-way’ communication). You need to get people talking. Maybe not talking with your brand, but sometimes simply talking with each other. Remember Entertain, Express, Express, Enable!

Nurturing a community means you are providing utility, usefulness and support for your community. When you articulate, it may sound little but in the practical world there’s a big difference between A presence and to HAVE a presence.

Look at it this way, if you can raise the community is an indicator on whether you should even be spending time in a social community or not. Can you get members talking? Can you get members engaging? Can you get members to act?

If not, you may like to consider other advertising options. Email marketing and other traditional methods that may have given you ROIs in the past.

Ask! Listen! Understand! Engage!

Before you give up on your ‘Building’, try this:

  • ASK! Ask your community a question where the answer sincerely impacts your business decisions.
  • Listen! Open ears will help you identify an opportunity where you can help your community and win their loyalty and trust. Go an extra mile wins hearts in social world too.
  • Understand! Understand the contribution and efforts made by members. Give them the limelight and show gratitude for their contributions.
  • Engage! Get people talking and create engagements. Host meet-ups, Q&A. Trivia Questions on a launch. Ways are many.

The essence of social community is same as the ‘house’ and ‘home’ theory. Everyone prefers a place to connect and not just the lumps of concrete hence nurture your ‘Building’ to a ‘Community’.

If you have done something similar in your business, please share your story. If you want to try this and still not sure how to go about it, feel free to leave your question.

From Business Leader to Thought Leader

ImageWhen you think of a thought leader as someone recognised as an authority on explicit topics, it is easy to comprehend why so many business people want to be one. Being positioned as the expert in your industry can have great values as well as responsibilities for your career and on your business’s bottom line.

Can everyone be a thought leader?
Although most business leaders could become thought leaders, however in order to be a successful one some hard work is needed. For some the required characteristics may come naturally, and for some conscious practice is needed. Here are three characteristics a potential thought leader should have:

1. Be an expert
Being an expert in your industry or profession is an essential factor to being recognised as a thought leader. You must have great knowledge and understanding of your topics of expertise. Most business leaders will be able to answer this requirement.

2. Be open to sharing your expertise
In addition to having the knowledge and understanding, a thought leader must be prepared to share this expertise openly and have original ideas, distinct points of view and new insights.

3. Be willing to stand out
Thought leaders must also be open to being seen and heard publicly in the media, social media and at events. An approachable personality will definitely benefit you.

If you feel you have the qualities and experience needed to position yourself as a thought leader, then consider the following PR strategies to help you reach the recognition you deserve.

Become the expert the media wants to hear from
The media is always on the lookout for a great story supported by expert thoughts and intelligence. You may want to spend quality time with your communication and PR team and come up with a list of topics for which you should be positioned as an expert available for comments. They may point you to the right people / interactions.  

Treat media interviews as a priority by making yourself available. Also, undertake media training so you can deliver powerful interviews that will make the journalist’s job easier and create the impression you need in order to receive future calls for commentary.

Your communication team should also use all opportunities to offer topical, objective, easy to understand and helpful articles with your byline. These articles can relate to an important issue in your industry, your unique journey as a company director, your thoughts as a leader, or helpful tips and advice related to your expertise.

Write a business blog
Business blogs are a great way to share your expert knowledge and position yourself as a thought leader in your field. The key is to pick a topic and stick to it. As with media opportunities, your PR team should help you write regular blog posts that will spark discussion and share your experiences, ideas and relevant information.

You can also be positioned as a guest blogger on other relevant websites to increase your exposure and build traffic to your own business blog.

Network on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is the professional social media platform that allows leading companies to connect with experts, clients and industry colleagues around the world. LinkedIn can also help you increase your visibility and position yourself.

One way of doing so is by ensuring that regular updates related to your field of expertise are made on your profile. You should also find groups in your industry and your clients’ industries, and join relevant and engaging discussions.

Engage on Twitter
Twitter can be a great avenue to demonstrate your expertise and gain a following of people interested in hearing what you have to say. To build your followers naturally, share links to helpful or insightful articles related to your expertise (this includes your own articles and blogs, but also those from other sources), cross-promote your LinkedIn discussions, follow people in your industry and target markets and interact with them.

Most importantly, before you start engaging on social media, consult your PR team to find out more about your organisation’s communication and/or social media guidelines.

Speak at events
Public speaking is an excellent way to position yourself as an authority on a particular topic or industry, while gaining endorsement from the event’s organisers.

Your presentation should be informative and interesting, and be adapted to suit your audience. For example, avoid using technical language when your audience has no knowledge of your topic. As for media training, if you’re not a confident public speaker, get some coaching beforehand to ensure you make the most of each opportunity.

The key to becoming a thought leader is to be open to positioning your expertise in the limelight in every possible way.

What is Social Media for Business?

Before we say what it is about, let me make it clear that it is not at all about direct selling. In fact, hard selling on social media is very suicidal because today’s internet users are well aware and shelled with advertisements every second.

Social media is about…

Relationship Building: Social media’s key rest in its name, it is about being social. The rules of engagement in the virtual world are no different from the ones in the real world, the trust you build with your potential customers on social media will take time and patience just like any other relationship. With a friendly, consistent and reliable social media presence that adds value, you build a following of people who may not only turn into repeat customers, but who would also highly recommend you to others.

Add Value: To be successful with social media understand this: people don’t use it to look at ads. They’re there to communicate with friends and family. They want entertainment and information. Your goals with social media should be to create an atmosphere where your customers feel safe connecting with you without the threat of being bombarded with “advertising”. How do you do this? By sharing relevant and entertaining posts that engage your audience. Humour, useful tips and information on relevant news are all topics of conversation. You can also turn the spotlight to your fans. Showcasing your customers and fans is a great way to build a closer following and get people talking about your business. Don’t forget to let your personality shine through!

‘Face’ it: People enjoy seeing the human side of business. Give them a “behind-the-scenes” glimpse of the people behind the brand. The fact is we’re all human. Be entertaining, a resource or a destination. You know the saying, “the customer is always right” – they’ll let you know when you’re doing good

Brand Awareness: Attract, engage, and interact with potential customers and be more personal with them. If you’re able to leave an amazing impression, the more people who recognize and are aware about your brand, the more people discuss your company through word of mouth. Online publicity increases your company’s visibility. Establish your expertise in your field and control how people see you and your brand.

Customer Service: By answering questions and handling requests efficiently and promptly, you develop a positive reputation for your business.

Reputation Management: Whether or not you’re on social media, eventually people will be talking about you online. Be in charge of both positive and negative feedback. Take the ownership.

Industry Networking: Social media is not only a platform for you to connect with past, current, and future customers, but it also facilitates connections with others in your field. For small businesses, these mutually beneficial connections are indispensable. Share tips, mutually enlarge your networks, and promote each other’s’ offers to help each other grow.

Strategic Reflection: There’s a lot to learn from your competitors online. Observe their marketing strategies, take note of their pricing, and watch how they manage public complaints for example.

Research & Development: Social media provides a casual, non-committal atmosphere where people feel more willing to share their opinions whether directly to you or as part of a conversation with others. You can actively poll others or amass opinions, and also passively be a strate Continue reading